The City of Parksville will remove several hazardous elm trees along Memorial Avenue next week. City workers may need to partially close the road and sidewalk at times between Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 during the removal process — detours will be provided, according to the city. The trees being removed are over 100-years-old and were planted in memory of Parksville men who died in the First World War.
“Three trees, now classified as hazardous, must be removed due to incurable fungal infections and poor health. Should there be any salvageable wood, we hope to be able to repurpose for possible future projects,” said Deb Tardiff, manager of communications for the city, in a media release.
A 2019 inspection of the 34 elm trees along Memorial Avenue identified safety issues with some of the trees and the report required they be inspected annually, using aerial and in-depth internal inspection by specific tree analysis equipment .
“Through ongoing arborist inspections, the city will determine any further actions for specific trees which require further assessment and through limited pruning, we will continue to maintain and care for the trees,” said Tardiff.
The city said the trees will be replaced and its budget allows for an increase in the elms’ maintenance.
The city’s cenotaph was originally located at the end of Memorial Avenue in front of the McMillan Street School, now the home of the McMillan Arts Centre. After the First World War, Memorial Avenue was chosen to commemorate the men from Parksville who died serving overseas in the war. The street led to the cenotaph and the elm trees were planted in memory of the fallen soldiers.